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Assisted Living vs. Home Care: 4 Unspoken Health Benefits of Aging in Place


Focus on Aging | Opinion

By Linda Williams

If you’re a senior who has chosen to spend their golden years at home, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, 90% of seniors would opt for aging in place instead of resorting to costly institutional care. Further, aside from assisted living’s high costs, in some cases staying in a facility can deprive seniors of many health benefits that come from aging at home. From offering a safer living environment to promoting a greater sense of independence, aging in place can offer many hidden health boosts. Read on for four unspoken perks of growing old in the comfort of your own home.

Stronger sense of comfort

“Home is where the heart is” might be a tired cliché, but its message still rings true. Older adults who choose to move into an assisted living facility are forced to adapt to an environment that won’t ever really feel like home. Further, in addition to being uncomfortable, the disruptive changes that come from moving out of your home can result in anxiety and depression. In contrast, those who choose to age in place can continue enjoying a space where they’ve made many happy memories. And thanks to a wide variety of in-home care services like these, seniors who need help getting around the house or making meals can get the support they need from the comfort of their own house instead of relying on institutional care.

Proximity to friends and family

Not having to leave your favorite down-the-street neighbors is a clear perk of aging in place. And while staying close to friends and family bears obvious social benefits, this aspect of growing old at home also offers surprising health gains. Maintaining close connections with loved ones can help seniors reduce their risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and even lead to increased longevity.

Safer living environment

The pandemic was just one recent and devastating example of how quickly disease can disseminate in close institutional quarters. Multiple studies have suggested that viruses and other infectious diseases can spread like wildfire in assisted living facilities, putting older residents at risk of developing additional health problems. Choosing to spend your golden years at home helps you avoid the influenza epidemic that broke out in your nursing home’s jazzercise class last year.

More independence

Senior citizens who choose to grow old at home experience greater freedom and independence than those aging in an assisted living facility. Living at an institution might require you to adhere to a strict daily schedule, whereas aging at home allows you to experience your retirement on your own terms. After all, who wants to give up weekend gardening for stuffy seated exercise sessions? Aging in place allows for a greater level of control over your personal life, resulting in increased happiness and fulfillment – two crucial components to enjoying your old age.

Parting thoughts

Aging in place is more than just enjoying the autumn of your life in a comfortable environment. Besides helping you avoid expensive assisted living facilities, growing old at home often holds hidden health boosts for seniors. From supporting a safer living environment to providing a greater sense of independence, aging from home offers the health benefits you need most in your retirement years.


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